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tv   wusa 9 News at 11pm  CBS  March 19, 2016 11:00pm-11:36pm EDT

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>> reporter: faced with with a mountain of confusing and contradictory evidence in the second gonzales murder trial, the jury again struggles to figure out what it all means. >> i couldn't come to a
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>> reporter: after just one day, worried prosecutors make a major concession. withdrawing the murder charge. giving the jury the option of voting for manslaughter. >> we were hoping that they were stuck between murder and manslaughter and if we took murder off the table, it would signal to those dug in for murder that we would just want the conviction at this point. >> reporter: it doesn't work. the jurors stay stuck and that afternoon announce they, too, are deadlocked, again at ten to two, but this time ten to convict. >> i thought he was guilty. >> reporter: only two to acquit. >> i just didn't feel they could prove that she didn't attack him. >> reporter: a seemingly triumphant art gonzales heads home carrying his youngest son on his shoulders, perhaps underestimating prosecutor eric olson's determination. >> we felt the truth was coming out and in a third trial we could get a verdict. >> reporter: there will b
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no chance of another hung jury because, this time, there is no jury. both sides agree to a bench trial with some camera access and with judge sara deniky who has already heard this case twice, deciding art's fate. >> so now we have a situation where the judge is literal through judge and jury. >> correct. >> reporter: meanwhile, art gonzales is free on bond and living with his sons in the very house with he shot his estranged wife. even with this reduced charge of manslaughter, he could still face ten years behind bars and that says friend dug meryl, is a scary prospect for a loving dad and his sons how do you think he's holding up? how is he feeling? >> it's amazing to me that he's even holding up at all. >> reporter: at his third trial derricks fence attorney mark gardner uses art's f.b.i. training to defend wha
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his witnesses say the reflex to react engrained in f.b.i. agents is what keeps them alive. >> what about the fact that art fired four shots? >> four shots with a handgun against an advancing attacker is very often insufficient to stop that attack. >> you want some coffee, marietta? >> reporter: julie's parents who have traveled across the country from new mexico three times for these trials aren't buying it. >> he's not taking accountability for what he does. >> he wants you to believe julie is responsible for her own death. >> it was very difficult to look at art when i got on the stand. >> reporter: f.b.i. agent janet johnson who worked with art in new mexico says art confided something to her before he moved to virginia. >> if iis
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new mexico, she gets 50% of everything i have. he said, that's not going to happen. i'm going to lure her to virginia and the laws are much more favorable to the man in virginia. >> reporter: art's attorney, mark gardner, says the physical evidence of what happened that day is the only evidence that counts, evidence like the gunshot residue. >> there was gunshot residue both on art's hands and on julie's hands. there was gunshot res due -- residue on the knife. all consistent with his claim that she attacked him, was in chloe proximity to him when the weapon was fired. >> reporter: prosecutors agree physical evidence is the key and hope the judge will grasp it better than the two hung jurisdid. they bring back their star witness. >> marcella s. fierro. >> reporter: the refound forensic pathologist wh
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julie was flat on the flor when at least one of the shots was fired. what makes her so sure? >> this bullet then exited the back partially. it exited and popped back in because it has a short exit. >> reporter: this is the bullet dr. fierro is referring to. >> it means that the back was against something firm or hard. >> reporter: and that's something, prosecutors say, was the kitchen floor. but as in the previous two trials, the defense maintains the bra julie was wearing could have stopped that bullet. nonsense, says fierro. >> could a bra cause that? yes, but not the bra on this lady. >> reporter: she is unshakeable under crks. >> what would change your mind? a video. >> reporter: but defense forensic pathologist donald jason is just as sure. >> i believe it happens with bras like she
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>> reporter: even more surprising is this witness who typically testifies for the prosecution. dr. jennifer bowers is a state pathologist. >> do you believe the bra you saw on julie when she was brought to the medical examiner's office could have caused that shoring? >> it's possible, yes, sir. >> reporter: in his closing arguments, attorney gardner underscores the dilemma of dueling experts. >> i will go to my grave questioning
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pathologist can say a .40 caliber bullet shot into julie's body into her back with enough force to exit the floor and cause shoring and there's no evidence the bullet struck the floor. julie charged at him, surprised him. he looked up, put his arm up, pushed her away, tried to create distance. she got her balance and immediately came right back at him. he pulled his weapon and fired, exactly like he's been trained to do. i maintain that there is no real evidence to contradict art's claim about what happened in that kitchen. >> reporter: but prosecutor olson says nothing art gonzales says can be trusted. >> it is not a coincidence that the track of mr. gonzales' relationship with kara cast is the track of the divorce. it was made right at the beginning of may is when he fell in love with kara cast, despite all his protestations to the contrary. what happens mid may after he's fallen in love with kara cast? he sees a divorce lawyer. in june he files for divorce. mr. gonzales lied repeatedly in this courtroom. he lied about when the romantic and sexual relationship started. he is manipulative and
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>> the only thing that i'm 100% sure of is that julie gonzales should not be dead. >> reporter: the prosecution had flown in julie's new mexico friends to testify, and, after two hung juries and three trials, they are confident that this time justice will be served. >> and lea and i just grasped each other, and we thought "oh my god, it's finally done." >> there is no rational or reasonable explanation for what happened in that house on august 19. >> reporter: but judge sarah deneke seems in no hurry to deliver her decision. >> it was excruciating. i'd be lying if i didn't say that. >> reporter: for openers, the judge clearly doesn't believe art's story about trying to resuscitate julie after he shot her. >> the defendant reported
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performing c.p.r. on the victim, on julie, and i find that very doubtful given the evidence that i've heard here. >> reporter: but then, she pivots and begins dismantling the prosecution's case point by point. >> we have to address the issue of cara kast. the court finds that the evidence of the relationship with this girlfriend is irrelevant to this finding. there was not one single piece of evidence that is relevant to motive or motivation. >> his girlfriend, what he considered the love of his life, he found out that she was going with someone else. that couldn't have played a part in his mind when... when he killed... julie. >> to her, it didn't matter. >> now, the evidence is that the bullet was somehow caught in the clothing. frankly, i find that weird.
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it's not significant in terms of making a determination as to whether or not this crime occurred or this killing occurred in self-defense. >> this is not relevant, that's not relevant. she went through a whole list of things that she found was irrelevant. all of the things that happened to him that made him unstable, distraught, she said that didn't matter. >> reporter: nor do the dueling expert witnesses sway the judge. >> they do not vary on the facts. they all agree that there were four shots. >> reporter: what apparently does matter to the judge is the gunshot residue on julie gonzales' hands, which leads her to conclude that julie indeed may have attacked art gonzales. >> the gunpowder residue is consistent with the defendant's version of the victim holding the knife as he firee
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there's no other explanation as to how she could have gunpowder residue on her hands. >> reporter: accepting that art's story could be true, she announces her verdict, sounding almost reluctant. >> i have no choice but to find the defendant not guilty of the crime of manslaughter. >> when she says those final words are not guilty, my heart sinks. you're just totally devastated. >> it was disbelief, shock. it was a miscarriage of justice. >> reporter: and it is more than prosecutor kristin bird can take. you were sobbing. >> i had heard the family gasp behind me at the end of the reading of the verdict, and it was hard to know that for a split second there they thought he was going to be found guilty. >> reporter: despite the outcome, prosecutor olsen
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defends trying gonzales three times. >> we believed strongly that he was culpable and guilty of the death of julie gonzales. we wouldn't have prosecuted the case if we had doubt. >> reporter: a free man at last, gonzales quickly exits the courthouse, his family shielding him from view. his sister, arlene, stood by him throughout the entire ordeal. >> it's a relief, and our family is very happy. i'm sorry. >> you seem overwhelmed with emotion. >> i am very overwhelmed right now. thank you, god. >> reporter: art showed up uninvited when we talked with his lawyer. he didn't want to join the interview, but he kept his ear to the door for the entire time. in the end, art gonzales would only talk about his reaction to the verdict. >> i'm sorry, do you mind if i... forec
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what i'm kind of hearing through the door and stuff. but what did the prosecutor allege i did right after the verdict was read? >> reporter: nothing. i didn't... nothing. >> oh. >> reporter: no, i asked. i said i couldn't see. i said i was sitting behind you, and i couldn't see. and i asked what your reaction was. >> i looked up, and i thanked god. without god and the people he's put in my life, there's no way i could've made it. >> reporter: you can come say that to me. >> i will, in time. >> reporter: well, how about now? >> no, because i have to take my son to soccer practice. >> reporter: art gonzales never did sit down with us. now a single parent, he's says he's stretched thin. plus, the f.b.i. fired him for what it said was his "lack of candor" during the murder investigation. >> his life has been in limbo since this happened. he's been without work. he's been unemployable, essentially lost all of his assets. his house is up for sale. >> reporter: but you'll find little sympathy for art gonzales
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in julie's hometown of socorro, new mexico. >> not in my worst nightmare did i ever think that we would be going through something like this. >> reporter: her parents can only take comfort in their faith and their memories. what will you miss most about her? >> her gentleness, her good nature, her wittiness. >> reporter: once very close to their grandsons, julie's parents say they hardly get to see them now. >> we lived for our grandchildren, and i was their teddy bear. what more can i say? we love them, and we'll always love them. >> reporter: through three trials, they believed in their hearts that the f.b.i. agent who killed their daht
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to prison for it. now, they believe something else entirely. >> art gonzales is guilty of murder, and he got away with it. i'll believe that till the day i die. >> did the judge get it right? check with correspondent susan spencer on twitter. captioned by media access group at wgbh captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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>> cbsn, the live digital news
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before spring arrives tomorrow, but does the weather have a calendar? snow mixed with rain is on the way, so, what's it going to be like tomorrow? let's get over to the man who knows. meteorologist howard bernstein. what is going on? >> very unspring like here. we have a late season storm. what happens you have storm later in the season. they are very elevation department. the mountains got a lot more than we did. we are getting into a quieter period for the overnight. still, a couple of sprinkles and flurries are moving north and east of town. this will be pulling out pretty quickly. i'm not expecting much in the way of precipitation. could be spotty drizzle. temperatures in mid to upper 30s . they are above freezing and not going to drop off all that much. maybe a few degrees here and there. but most
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freezing. any slick spots will be well to the northwest. there is a second piece of energy bringing showers back in here probably toward midday into the afternoon. look how cool it will be. we should be 57 but we will be in the low 40s . a nasty raw unspring like day. i do have though debra, some 70s in that seven day forecast. we will talk about how much snow fell on the mountains an when the 70s will get here in a few minutes. >> thank you howard. well, imagine, someone is shot and killed in your backyard as you are putting your young son to bed. that is what happened to one manassas mom. >> reporter: pop. that is what this mom heard around 8:30 last night. her husband is working, her son is lying down and she is scared. she tells her husband to rush home around waits. >> you are stepping on it! >> that's
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there. >> oh my god. >> reporter: nick and begam jackson's little boy xavier backs away from the victim's blood slowly. last nighted, his football field, his track, his playground is turning into a crime scene. his dad is flying home to get to his boy and his wife. >> i was scared because my son and wife were home alone. >> reporter: he arrives to pa backyard crawling with investigators closed off with police tape and a dead body in the middle of it. >> it is scary a little bit. but his body was just ... he was just laying there. just face to the ground. >> reporter: begam hears the ambulances, sees the police, and tells her son to say a prayer, but she is still waiting. waiting for her husband to tell her what he just saw. she is hoping it will be okay. it wasn't. >> it was just really scary to know that so
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legit dead right there next to our house. that is pretty scary. especially when you have a lot of kids around here. it is pretty frightening. >> you hear the gunshots xavier? >> yes. i didn't hear the gunshots. >> reporter: she feels safe during the day. but as the sunsets, it is a different story. >> it does get pretty creepy at night. so, i can guarantee you that you wouldn't spot me out here walking by myself. >> reporter: the family wants police to give them answers to their questions. and soon. >> they are not telling us anything. that is what is scary. >> reporter: here is what we do know. police say that two people were shot in the 900 block of blue gray circle and one adult male did die here. another was found suffering from a gunshot wound less than two miles away. in manassas, matt yurus, wusa9. well, on the campaign trail, arizona, utah, and idaho head to the polls
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presidential candidates are campaigning out west while protesters in arizona and manhattan organized against donald trump. protesters shut down the main road into fountain hills arizona sunday in advance of a donald trump rally there. the law enforcement effort to clear the highway was led by sheriff joe arpaio, vocal trump supporter. >> three of the protesters are in jail. >> reporter: he credits his stuff stance on immigration. >> drugs pouring through the border. people are now seeing it. and you know what? we are going to build the wall and we are going to stop it. >> reporter: but in new york, hundreds of protesters marched between trump-owned buildings denouncing his immigration protester poe sal. meanwhile, ted cruz and john kasich battled over who has the best chance to stop trump. >> a vote for john kasich is
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vote for donald trump. >> reporter: back in arizona, democratic candidate bernie sanders went to the mexican border with the promise to expand executive orders protecting undocumented immigrants. >> i will end the deportation regime which is dividing so many families. >> reporter: sanders expressed disappointment for not doing better in last week's ohio primary. he trails hillary clinton by more than 500 delegates. and for 24/7 presidential campaign updates and the latest on local races you can always go to our wusa9 app. it has been three weeks since a prince william county police officer was shot and killed on her first day on the job and two other officers were injured. officer ashley gwenden has certainly not been forgotten. mola lenghi takes us to wood bridge. >> reporter: it was almost like a family reunion in wood bridge today if you lift
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the reunijohn. >> every one of the officers takes us as a member of their family. >> reporter: the police family has had a rough few weeks. they lost one of their own. officer gwendon was shot on her first day on the job. two other officers were shot and injured. >> when an incident like this happens it is somewhat demoralizing. everybody has moments of self- reflection and we wonder be it is worth it. >> it has been rough. but we have found love and support from people we don't know and they care so much about us. about ashley. and it really lifted us up. >> reporter: joanne is ashley's aunt. she made the trip from her home in massachusetts to take part in a hero workout to raise money to support the three officers and their families. >> this community is amazing. >> that
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get up everyday and put bullet proof vests on and run toward the gunfire. we want to protect and help people. >> reporter: it seems the community wants to return the favor. you can tell by the turnout. people taking on the hero workout that by the way, is not for everyone. while wearing a 20-pound vest, participants ran a mile, did 50 pullups. 20 burpees, ten dead licks and ran another mile. they pushed themselves. but, they did it for others. >> they are forever bonded to us. she is here. she is here. i felt her. absolutely here. and would be proud of everybody. >> reporter: in wood bridge, mola lenghi, wusa9. >> the two officers are still recovering from their injuries. cross fit wood bridge hosted today's fundraiser and we are told 100% of proceeds will benefit the three officers'
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families. private funeral service set next week for the prince george's police officer killed last weekend at a shoot-out in police headquarters. a viewing for jaqui colson will be held at first baptist church in upper marlboro. he was killed by a fellow officer after a man opened fire outside the police station. 22-year-old michael ford is charged with second degree murder and attempted murder in this case. and two americans among at least five people killed in a suicide attack in turkey. the attack happened today on istanbul's main pedestrian shopping street. the white house has not released the names of the americans but an israeli diplomat said both had dual israeli citizenship. meantime, fly dubai airlines says there we
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southern russia. the boeing 737 carrying 56 passengers and six crew members left dubai two hours earlier. the plain crashed upon landing near an airport 600 miles from moscow. a nearby security camera captured the devastating crash as the aircraft hit the ground and pulverized on impact. >> everyone in our company is in deep shock. >> crews already have recovered the plane's block box flight recorder and a team from the national transportation safety board and boeing are headed to russia to help investigate what caused that crash. well, volunteers rolled up their sleeves this morning to make sure their comrades are not forgotten. they came to clean and beautify one of the district's newest memorials. the american veterans disabled for life memorial and surae chinn was there. >> reporter: a little heavy lift
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for some of these volunteers, cleaning the memorial is a mission that holds a special place in their hearts. >> a little bit of back pain is nothing for guys like myself who have given a little bit of their body and made the ultimate sacrifice as well to help defend this country and what we stand for. so, no-brainer to come out and help out. >> reporter: captain ben and major mike served on special forces in iraq. ben lost both legs stepping on a bomb in afghanistan. >> it is important for me to be out here. >> i am a disabled veteran. it means so much to me to give back to my own community. >> reporter: this memorial honors roughly 4 million heros who sacrificed so much. many
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serving our country. >> it is important th . it is important my kids will be able to one day see what daddy has been part of. national park service ranger james pierce is the volunteer coordinator for nearly 150 memorials. but this one stands out. because i am also a wounded veteran. he lost a leg in that bomb attack but still finds himself humbled. especially today with a double amputee, it is humbling, unbelievable. this place means so much to so many. to give back but again to their country, that means everything. in southwest, wusa9. the program is modeled after a cleaning program at the vietnam and korean memorials where volunteers come twice a week through october. a daytime robbery at a local ice cream shop and tonight police are searching for the suspect police say